Potrero Buck Gin Cocktail Recipe by the Bon Vivants
Mixology 101: Potrero Buck by the Bon Vivants
A born-again gin enthusiast with a well-equipped bar, I've recently taken a liking to mixology. The best way to entertain my new hobby, I've discovered, is to buy and try; if I fancy a cocktail I've tasted at an event or one of San Francisco's best cocktail bars, I try my hand and shaker at it in the comfort of my kitchen and see how I stack up. From here on out, you'll be schooled in the mixing of delectable drinks with recipes from some of San Francisco's best bartenders! Up first: the Potrero Buck by the Bon Vivants.
In May, I attended Taste of Potrero, an annual benefit for Daniel Webster Elementary School in Potrero Hill and was moonstruck by the Potrero Buck by startenders Josh Harris and Scott Baird of cocktail consulting company the Bon Vivants and soon-to-open Mission cocktail bar, Trick Dog (3010 20th St.). The cocktail is a refreshing, citrusy, subtly fruity take on a forgotten classic from the early 1900s, the gin buck. Harris sent over the recipe, and I've been perfecting it since Spring! It's incredibly easy to create and absolutely delicious; my basil plant can't keep up with my Potrero Buck habit!
- 2 oz. No. 209 gin (or whatever gin you have on hand)
- .75 oz. organic unfiltered apple juice (any apple juice works fine)
- .75 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (basically one half of a lime)
- .5 oz. rich simple syrup (two parts organic evaporated cane sugar: one part water)
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 2 oz. ginger beer
- six to eight basil leaves and a basil floret
- Collins glass (or I prefer a highball glass)
- Cocktail shaker
- Tea strainer
- Add the basil leaves and apple and lime juices to a mixing tin.
- Muddle the basil in the juice.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients except for the ginger beer.
- Add ice, shake, and double strain through a tea strainer over fresh ice in a Collins glass.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Spank a basil floret in the palm of your hand to release the aroma and place atop the drink.
Josh noted that if you're preparing batches, you can steep the basil in the syrup when it's hot, so you don't have to muddle to order. To do so, when you pull the simple syrup off of the stove, drop in a couple bunches of basil while the syrup is hot and strain out when the desired basil flavor has been added. In this scenario, nothing else in the instructions changes except not having to muddle; all the other ratios stay the same.
Simple syrup keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month, so if you're planning to make this cocktail (or others) again, which I have no doubt you'll want to, store the excess in a bottle or jar to save for your next Potrero Buck. If you're not big on mixology, you may not have Angostura bitters on hand, but it's a worthy investment that you'll use again and again; a four-ounce bottle goes for about $9. When I'm running low on basil, I've found that about four larger leaves will easily add enough flavor.
Cheers! Any other favorite SF cocktails out there that you'd love to learn how to make? Tell us in the comments!